never too late

It may be Tuesday but I still have time to give thanks for last week! & another week in list form (and zero photos)

-dear friends, technology, and the ability to catch up
-(almost) one. year.
-my bed; maybe silly but when you spend a lot of days traveling or on the road a lot, home and a safe place is such a gift
-sunny days! i’m so thankful for all the sunshine we’ve gotten
-boldness and security in Christ; this season God has really brought me so much freedom as a result of being secure in Him. when we operate from approval and security as opposed to for in it, we have nothing to fear
-valentine’s day spent with junior high youth group, chocolate fountain & talking about God’s love…not your average valentine’s but wouldn’t have it any other way right now
-my parent’s neighbor (who i’ve known since probably age 8 or so; they knew my grandparents) was on a trip in croatia. i got to have dinner with her last week and it was such a treat. we both said who would have thought two midwesterners would be in zagreb, croatia. i kept thinking how proud and happy granny would have been; and of course, her iconic laugh.
-r e s t and prayer. there are many moments that can be full of anxiety or being overwhelmed but i’m thankful that i don’t walk alone, that God sees me and knows me and cares for me. God is good, He knows my needs and my thoughts, my fears, my joys, my sorrows.

joys and thanksgivings

Sometimes it’s more fun & spontaneous to make lists of the joys and thanksgivings from the week. So for this week…

-long walks in the mornings & evening, prayer time and silence, surrounded by beautiful scenery
-a competitive roommate who pushes me to get my steps in and win the workweek hustle 😉
-beautiful tulips from lidl for 20kn
-LOOK study in Croatian and long talks about Jesus being our “once and for all” sacrafice
-going through Leviticus this week and seeing the beautiful symbolism of it all
-a day with Jesus, painting and reading the psalms
-the butcher by my apartment that has the chicago bulls symbol in it’s logo
-friday night art competitions with molvar kids and their creativity
-honest but hard conversations
-the Lord’s guidance and clear provision
-laughing till we *almost* cry on monday nights w/ ema
-finding an affordable matcha at the mall, seeing if it’s easier on my stomach!
-amazing friends, supporters, and teammates who point me to jesus
-late night convos with em, aleana, & others

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with hb1 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetIMG_8060IMG_8062IMG_8078IMG_8090IMG_8099

for the simple things

Processed with VSCO with hb1 presetProcessed with VSCO with kk2 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with hb1 preset

 

This week I’m thanking God for the little, simple things. Like mandarins in a cute little box from Lidl, fresh lemons, homemade almond milk, paleo baking, coffee in the mornings. Taking joy in creating beautiful things, whether it be food or websites or images. Seeing the young kids walking home from school and greeting the dogs who hang outside all day in their yards. All the sunshine we had this week. Late night conversations at Činkica with some yummy treats. Good books and slowly burning candles. Hanging out with Esther, talking about school (junior high is already tough enough but this girl is doing it in a foreign language!), walks to the mall. Thanking God that He is my refuge and strength in times of trouble, giving me delight in the simple joys of life.

Some joys and thanksgivings from this week… Monday night dinner with Molvars & Dutch blitz, bjela kava, the neighbor across the street who greets me on sunday mornings on my walk to church, Friday night girls night/movie night turned into a broken down car in a parking garage. A kind samaritan jumped the car and we got out, got ice cream and called it a night. More memorable this way 😉

Palm of Your Hand

What a whirlwind of a week…momentous, fragile, eyes opened…grateful this week for God’s presence and that when we seek Him, we shall find Him. He is near to the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds. He holds us in the palm of His hand and we can trust Him.

Another year & the beauty of being pruned…

This Monday I turned 27…reflecting on this last year and all that 26 brought is overwhelming, amazing, and downright humbling. I never expected all that this year brought. God stripped me, refined me, and showed me how deeply I really need Him. For my birthday, Ema, Debi and I went to Varaždin, a city about one hour away from Zagreb, shaped by destruction through the ages. It’s a beautiful city; of course with a castle because…Europe. We got coffee, explored, had ruby chocolate…it’s fun exploring with them. After having lunch together I went to get my nails done. I had some really interesting spiritual conversations with the girls there and am hoping to go back to hopefully have gospel conversations at some point. I’m asking God to keep my eyes open and be bold and faithful to walk through the doors He’s opening.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Josiah Venture Prayer Room

Thankful for this gift, resource, and tool. Grateful to spend time with Jesus in this way and pray for His movement in this part of the world. What a good gift… If you’d like to pray in the prayer room, you can go here.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Struja & Rising Leaders

Thankful for this new junior high group, the people He’s bringing and the people He’s raising up. If you’re wondering about the second photo…Ema had a genius idea for the game-“Grandma made alphabet soup and you have to write her a message using the letters.”

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 preset

Ćinkica, good conversations & open doors

Thankful to live right by this little spot, early mornings here & the sunshine coming in. You just can’t beat a croissant and bjela kava for only 11kn (about $1.50). This current season and the season up ahead seems to be one of refining in the fire, not knowing what the next day will bring and depending on Jesus for His leading. The realities of this past year have hit me more this week than expected but I’m grateful that I don’t walk alone, I’m not abandoned and He is with me through the wind and the waves.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with g3 preset

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Holy Ground

Wow…what a week. I think this is a week I’ll look back on as being a turning point, a critical shift, an opening of doors, a stripping/deconstructing of myself, a noticing of the very good gifts the Lord has for me. I’ve sensed that God has many things in store that He wants to restore, heal, redeem and change in me this year and that surely happened this week. I’m still processing much of it but many conversations, prayers and clarity was given in this week.

This week I was in Czech for our Winter Academy, a week of digging into God’s Word, studying Jesus’ model of ministry and discipleship and walking alongside others who are on the same road in over 15 countries. It was definitely a tiring week with sessions starting at 8am and ending at 9pm, but every minute was worth it and rich with resources, wisdom from Jesus, and deep community.

On the list of God’s goodness for this week…

Processed with VSCO with kk1 presetProcessed with VSCO with kk1 presetProcessed with VSCO with kk1 preset

God’s glory and beauty on display… 

It was a breath of fresh air (literally) to see this view this week. In the midst of a season of many trials and hard things, to see God’s beauty in the sunsets and sunrises brought peace and comfort to my oftentimes weary and anxious heart. As we spent our morning devotions in Psalm 91 I was reminded of God’s pursuit of me and His protection.

My Refuge and My Fortress

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,

ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
and see the recompense of the wicked.

Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge—
no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.

For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Friends, Mentors, & “holy ground” conversations

I had many conversations with dear friends and mentors this week over meals at this table. Many of them were some “holy ground” moments. God has been moving in my heart in unexpected ways and I’m so very thankful for the people in my life who point me to truth, support me in hard times, and pray with me through big things. I’m so thankful that God gave me Ben and Sarah, Geri and Dave, Kyle and Amy, and Amy. There are many more to mention but these are just a few who I got to share big things with this week.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 preset

God’s goodness in allowing me to be a part of His movement here

Throughout the week, I kept coming back to this…I am so thankful to be a part of Josiah Venture, a team, family, and group of people who are passionate about seeing God move in this part of the world, equipping young leaders to fulfill Christ’s commission through the local church. There was so much to take in, training, teaching, and so much more but I am so abundantly grateful for our leadership, the God-honoring excellence that goes into this…I was consistently reminded of 2 Timothy 2:15

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved,a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

Pressing in to Trial

It’s 7:32AM on a Monday where I am right now. Where am I, you ask? I’m actually in the Czech Republic at our Josiah Venture headquarters for our weeklong training seminar of Winter Academy. For a week each January we have a week of diving into our systems, discipleship tools, and the life of Christ to prepare and train for the work we have set before us. Honestly, it’s a pretty full and exhausting work; but for the purpose, it’s more than worth it. We drove here yesterday right after church. With only one stop for a hip-hop (gas station) coffee and McDonalds (truly the only option on the road; I’ve eaten more McDonalds living in Europe than my whole life combined), the drive was only 7 hours from Zagreb to Malenovice.

This week was an unusual one…and I have a lot to be thankful for. I saw God’s goodness, presence and friendship in new ways. The funny thing about life in Europe is you can be in multiple countries in just a matter of hours…that’s what my week looked like.

IMG_7774Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetIMG_7765

Health Problems & God’s Help

Last week, I may have shared that I’ve been experiencing some medical problems. This Monday-Wednesday I had to travel to Vienna to see a specialist and doctor to look further into my health problems. The road ahead is long but I’m really grateful for this doctor and her care. Dealing with health problems on your own is never fun…but to do it in a foreign country is another battle. I often travel on my own for work and I’m used to “dealing with things on my own”. It’s easy for me to have this “I’m strong and independent” kind of attitude. But I started to realize the ugliness, self-dependence and pride that was in that. So lately my prayer has been that I would be dependent on Jesus, asking Him for help and aware of my deep need for Him.

In this, I saw God’s goodness in His evident presence, reminders that He’s my strength & good doctors. I’ve sensed this year will be one of deeper dependence on the Lord in ways I don’t expect.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with hb2 presetProcessed with VSCO with hb2 presetProcessed with VSCO with hb2 presetProcessed with VSCO with hb2 presetProcessed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Adventures, Beauty, & Enjoying

This week I had many opportunities to enjoy and rest. Whether it was through my daily walk & thanking God for the sunshine and scenery or art, I was filled with so much thankfulness this week for the opportunities I had to spend with Jesus. There’s many experiences, adventures, and daily-life activities I often do alone so I really only get to share those with Jesus…and it’s a great joy 🙂

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Good food & fun encounters! 

Cooking is such a stress reliever for me. I love cooking for other people, I love getting creative in the kitchen…it’s such a joy. On one of the nights I was in Vienna for my doctors appointments, I grabbed a quick dinner in a little hole in the wall place. I journaled & wrote while I was there. Two older gentlemen from Russia sat down next to me, probably in their 50s and 60s, and we spoke broken Croatian and Russian to each other. Croatian and Russian are somewhat similar so we could understand each other a bit. I love these fun encounters that often happen on a daily basis.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetIMG_7729A231599B-B9C2-4DA8-8307-0EA10633B45BIMG_7779

Biblical resources, training, sermons, etc.

I’m so so thankful for podcasts, biblical teaching & resources. My church is 100% in Croatian, so being in process of learning Croatian, I don’t get much out of the weekly sermon. So every week I carve out time to listen to a sermon or do something to be spiritually fed in that way. I’ve also been loving this album from Leeland. I’d highly recommend these podcasts and resources!

Thanks for tuning in to another week, being a part of this, and giving thanks to God with me!

Searching for God’s Goodness

I think we can all agree life can be a bit daunting at times. Negativity and darkness can be our first inclination as opposed to positivity and light. This past week I found out that positivity is one of my top strengths (seriously, it’s my number 8 in Strength Finders). I’ve always known this about myself-I tend to see the light and goodness in most situations and seasons. But, like most people, I tend to forget. So in an effort to remember, raise an ebenezer, and be able to “look back” I decided I’d make a ritual out of searching for God’s goodness…I want to become a detective of sorts; always looking for His goodness. Whether it be big things like unsolicited provision or small things like sunshine in the morning, I want to be a person who gives thanks in all things.

So, at least for this year, I hope to take some time every Sunday to share with you the goodness of God that I experienced in the previous week. I hope to share photos, stories, etc. Some weeks may be long, others short. But, my hope is to be more aware, more expectant, and more eager to share God’s goodness.

IMG_7712

1. Reminders to breathe, rest, enjoy.

I’ve been experiencing a fair amount of ongoing stress that’s unfortunately taken a toll on my health. I changed my phone lock screen to this piece of art this week. In an effort to remember to literally breathe. I love this artist Morgan Harper Nichols who makes beautiful water colors and illustrations.
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

2. Intentional friends, new seasons, FaceTime & technology.

I truly am blessed with some of the greatest, most intentional friends. We’ve walked through many seasons of life together. In this past year, I’ve realized how much I truly treasure community, friendships and relationships. This week I got to catch up with various friends, meet their babies, and catch up with family.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

3. Overnight Struja “Lock In” & God’s protection

This Friday night we had a junior high “lock in” at church. This youth group was just recently launched. Ema, my roommate, has done a phenomenal job of planning, preparing, and praying over this group. This week I’m thankful for her heart to take things on and always have ideas. We had great discussions, too much sugar, and the church was freezing cold. Before “going to sleep” we got news that there had been a shooting just down the street from our church. Coming from the west side of Chicago, this isn’t a huge shock for me. But shootings and violence in general is very uncommon in this part of the world. It shook us up a bit but God surely protected us.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

4. Color, Light & Frost

Over the last few months, I’ve made a habit out of taking an hour long walk right after waking up. I typically take this time to pray, process, reflect and think. Other times I’ll listen to music or a podcast. Sometimes I take the same route, other times I’ll walk randomly and see where I end up! God has met me on these walks as I’ve set aside this time to meet with Him in the mornings. Mostly all of November was dreary, dark and rainy. But the last couple of months we’ve had sunshine almost everyday. So thankful for God’s goodness to give me sunlight for morning walks.

 

Thanks for joining me on this first week of searching for His goodness. The week ahead is full of many things that I’m trusting God with…I’m expectant to report back a week from now. I’d love to hear your “God’s goodness sightings” too! 🙂

Floods of God’s Provision

Spoiler alert: the title of this blog is not what you think it is. It’s about an actual flood. Yes, real water. Ok back to the story…

After my language class yesterday, I took my 30 minute power nap. Let me tell ya, language learning sucks all the energy out of ya. In my pre-field training we were actually told that, on average, a language learner immersed in culture requires at least two extra hours of sleep per day (about 10 hours). I didn’t believe it then, but I sure do now! I had about 5 minutes left of my power nap but I awoke to the sound of gurgling from the bathroom sink. I’ve been staying in an airbnb for the first three weeks of my time in Croatia. During this time I’ve been looking for a long term apartment relentlessly. It’s been a grueling search that’s brought me to my knees (a lot)…more on that later.

I slowly made my way to the bathroom gurgle (it didn’t take long…the airbnb I’m in is a quaint little 25 square meters) and found what appeared to be a bit of flooding. It had been raining all day. Most, if not all, bathrooms in Croatia have a drain (much like the drain in your average shower) on the floor. Well, to my dismay, there was water coming up out of the drain…a bit of a clog or something. I texted Lucija (my airbnb host) to let her know what was happening. Although I didn’t want her to have to come over here in the rain, she insisted her and the handyman would be on their way soon.

Lucija and the handyman arrived and what I thought would be a quick fix ended up taking about an hour or so. Lucija and I chatted for quite awhile…we’ve gotten to know each other pretty well as they had to come by a week and a half ago to replace the water filter in the airbnb (I didn’t have hot water for about a week). She asked me how my apartment search had been going.

You see, finding an apartment in Split is a different ball game than any I’ve ever played. Most Croats own the apartment or home they live in and probably own others as well that they rent to tourists during the tourism season. Thus, it’s been a developing issue over the last few years that the majority of people rent out the apartments they own only to tourists…I mean, they make a bunch more money than if they were to rent long term. Thus, it’s a move of God to find a long term apartment here.

Rewind to last week….well actually, maybe rewind to when I arrived. Or even a few weeks before I even left. I remember telling my team leader on the phone, “I’m mentally prepared to live out of my suitcases and move from place to place for the next 6 months, but I don’t want to do that.” Honestly, I didn’t think it would happen (and I don’t know if it actually will). Anyway, upon arriving on February 21, I started searching for an apartment. My teammate Judita has been an angel and truly God’s provision throughout this process (calling realtors, setting up showings, doing all the talking, etc.). However, by day 3 I have to admit I was already getting anxious. The reality was setting in how difficult this whole “finding an apartment” thing would be. I was already counting down the days I had left in my temporary airbnb before I had to leave. The looming fear of having nowhere to go kept replaying in my head. It was almost as if I was having an identity crisis and forgot that I was and am deeply loved child of God. A loving Father doesn’t uproot His daughters life in her homeland to bring her to homelessness and in lack. But somehow, that reality seems to be lost when fear and lies from the enemy set in.

So last week as I started language school, the days were counting down until I had to have another place to live. One week away, six days, five days, four days, three days…ok. What am I going to do? Friday and Saturday I spent most of the day combing through Njuškalo (basically the Croatian version of Craigslist) re-searching for apartments. I had already looked at 85% of the listings but called the remaining ones I hadn’t. On Friday I called a realtor, we set up a time to meet on Saturday, and go view an apartment in Manuš. About a 15 minute walk away from my teammates, close to the city center, and great space. I really loved the apartment, really hit it off with the realtor and the owner. We talked about life in Chicago, what my family thinks of me moving here, and the importance of mentoring and discipling young people. It was awesome! I was already asking the Lord to move in my relationship with both of them and expecting Him to do big things. Saturday and Sunday I daydreamed about what the space could look like. The photos I would hang on the walls, the plants I would buy, the meals I would cook with friends in my kitchen.

I told the owner my budget and she said she would talk to her husband once she sees him again on Monday. She said she was excited for me to live there and we would talk soon. I only had a few days left in my airbnb so it was awesome seeing how God was opening doors at just the last minute. Monday came around and I expected to hear from the realtor. I sent her a message on WhatsApp while I was in language class, letting her know I’m looking forward to hearing from her and I hope she had a good weekend. She called me an hour later and asked a few questions for the owners (i.e. how do I get paid, what is my income like, how do I pay rent-all normal questions to ask as there is no credit score check, previous apartment check, etc.). A few hours passed and I hadn’t heard anything so I called the realtor and asked if she’d heard anything from the owners. She said she hadn’t heard but would get back to me as soon as she hears.

As the time went on, I began having a bad feeling about all of it. Then I woke up from my post language class nap to the gurgling. And the flooding. Fast forward back to talking with Lucija. As we were chatting about finding an apartment she casually mentioned, “Since you’ve had so many problems while you’ve been here at the airbnb, we decided you can stay here until Tuesday for free if you don’t find an apartment.” What…ok thanks God for that provision and ease of the tension. I thought I probably wouldn’t need that as I’d be moving into the new place in a couple days, but that’s great to know anyway! I was relieved and grateful to see that God was still providing and showing His hand even in the unknown.

Tuesday afternoon rolled around and it was time for my post language class nap. No call from the realtor yet. Today I didn’t wake up to the sound of gurgling in the bathroom drain but to a phone call from the realtor. As I looked at my phone ringing, the feeling of fear and looming dread set in. “I don’t feel good about this, Lord. Soften the blow. Sustain me with your grace and peace.” I picked up my phone. “Alison I am so sorry to tell you the owner said that her husband only wants a Croatian couple to live in the apartment. I’m really surprised and I think she is upset too as she really liked you. Maybe it’s because you are a foreigner.

Ouch. “Would it help if I show her my visa paperwork? A proof of my employment?” No. It wasn’t going to happen. The sting of it all…being a foreigner, being a single missionary, etc. That hurt. “Ok Lord…I trust you. You are faithful. I trust you even in this.” She apologized profusely, asking me if I had somewhere to go, and assured me she would continue looking for an apartment for me. I hung up the phone. The lump in my throat grew as I cried out to the Lord. The cyclical feeling of getting so close to finding a new home to settle and finally unpack my bags was again snatched from me. As the tears rolled down my face and I lay in bed, I was reminded of just 24 hours prior. Before I even knew I needed it, God provided. I could stay here. “I will never leave you or forsake you. I am with you wherever you go. Trust me. I didn’t say it would be easy but I promised I would be with you. I am with you. Keep walking. Keep trusting, beloved child.”

A couple hours later I texted Lucija. “Hey, I didn’t get that apartment. Is there anyway I can extend my time here past Tuesday?” “Yes! The airbnb is available until April 1. We can give you a very discounted rate and you can stay here until then. Let me know.” I took a look at my calendar and saw that I’m set to leave for a ministry trip on April 1. Perfect timing…check. I’ll return mid-April and watch a teammates dog for a few days while they’re out of town. After that, they leave for home assignment late May and have already extended the invitation for me to live in their house until they return to Croatia mid-August. There’s many details I’m thinking and praying through but I’ll save that for later.

I’m not sure where I’ll live yet or where I’ll stay in the next few weeks…if I’ll stay where I am now or what God will do. All this to say…sometimes God uses broken water heaters, floods in the bathroom, and gurgling drains to wake us up and show us that He is always working and providing for His children. I don’t know what lies ahead, but I do know that it’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when. I don’t question if God will provide, I just don’t know when.

Even when I don’t see it, You’re working

Even when I don’t feel it, You’re working

You never stop working

Way Maker, Miracle Worker

Promise Keeper, Light in the Darkness

That is who You are

Uprooting to be Rooted

img_1489

I’m not necessarily one for resolutions (let’s be honest, I never accomplish them!) but I know I can personally benefit from the newness and renewed expectation that comes with a new year. For the last few months I’ve been thinking about what I want this year to be about. One word that repeatedly came up was “rooted”. There’s a lot of things I want to see happen this year, things I want to accomplish, grow in, etc. All of it can be traced back to this very concept of being rooted. Whether my goal is to grow in my prayer life or pay better attention to my health, my hope is to be rooted, unwavering, committed.

I was sharing this “word of the year” with a dear friend and ministry partner over coffee last week and she said, “Alison, that’s kind of a paradox because everything else in your life is about to be completely uprooted!” She was right! As much as I want this year to be marked by rootedness, the paradox is that everything in my life is about to be uprooted and changed. From my community to my language, I’m about to enter into a season of uprootedness.

I’ve always loved the quote “Grow where you’re planted.” For the past several months I’ve been in the process of uprooting to replant. The concept of no longer grocery shopping at aldi but now at Lidl (Europe’s version of Aldi) and at outdoor markets is becoming familiar. The excitement (and daunting task!) of learning a new language and fumbling to communicate will become a daily occurence. There’s a lot that comes with uprooting to be rooted again.

But in the midst of it all, my confidence and hope lies in the fact that God is faithful and steadfast. This year, may our roots grow deep Christ, standing firm in our faith and trusting Him!

Living in Limbo

You may remember playing this wonderful game “limbo” at birthday parties and block parties growing up. The words “how low can you go?” would echo around you as someone held the limbo pole, determining how low or high you would need to go. The lower the pole got, pressure increased, your trust was tested, and great flexibility was required.

There’s a lot of seasons in life that we would say, “I’m living in limbo.” The transition from college to the “real world”, being between jobs, being engaged and waiting to be married, and moving from one location to another. Oftentimes when we’re living in limbo the conditions are uncertain, the amount of time is unknown, and the destination may even be questionable.

fun-outdoor-kids-party-games-penny-wize_295534

Throughout this last season of living in limbo I’ve discovered that God has some pruning to do, some growth to produce, and some nuggets of wisdom to give. Oftentimes my conditions have been unknown. There have been periods of time where I didn’t know how God would provide simple things like a place to live or a car to drive! The amount of time in living in limbo has been unknown. When we say “yes” to what God asks of us, He often doesn’t give us a run-down of the conditions, the length of time, and all the details. But what He does give and promise us is His Spirit and providence. As I’ve walked this season of living in limbo, I’ve seen just how much the Lord has to teach us in the process, in the waiting, in the unknown.

  1. I may not know what lies ahead, but I know the One who does. I give a big sigh of relief at the realization that Jesus knows exactly what lies ahead. If we are in Christ, we can loosen our grip and remember that Jesus is in control of what lies ahead. As 1 Thessalonians 5 says, “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” As children of God we can actively decide to say, “I don’t know what lies ahead, what the conditions are, how long this will be, but Jesus I trust you.
  2. I know the One who holds it all is trustworthy. The relief of living in limbo is that we know the one who’s holding the limbo pole, so to speak. However, throughout this journey of living in limbo, we’ll come to discover the daily rhythm of Jesus asking, “Do you trust Me?” It’s not about trusting the process, the circumstances, or even the supposed destination. But do you trust Him? Do you trust that He has plans for a future and a hope? Do you trust that He is working all things together for your good? While living in limbo, sometimes through tears, sometimes with unspeakable joy, sometimes with open hands and other times with clenched fists, we repeat back, “I do trust you, Lord.”
  3. I know the One who holds it all will sustain. While you’re living in the land of the in between, you’re going to have lots of “God sightings.” Don’t miss these! Somehow, living in limbo produces a spiritual amnesia of sorts. We forget the faithfulness and goodness of our God. But these reminders and this grace from the Lord are just a small part of what will sustain us. As Romans 5 says, we can rejoice in this journey as it produces endurance, character and hope!
  4. I know the One who holds it all has good plans. If we truly believe that our God is good and has our best interest in mind, then we have nothing to fear. As Proverbs reminds us multiple times, we are to trust in our God and not in our own understanding, for His ways are not our ways. As we continually say “I trust you, Lord” and submit to His plans, His timing, His will, we can rest in His goodness.

I’ve been living in limbo for a little while now. I’ve transitioned out of my job and I’m ready to move to Croatia and begin work there. It’s been one of the most faith-shaping times of my life to live in limbo and wait for God to provide and trust that His timing is perfect. The conditions of this waiting have been uncertain and the amount of time is unknown. So often people ask me, “So when are you leaving?” The easy response is whenever 100% of my support comes in. Truth be told, it could be one month from now or three months from now. All I know is that I will leave in God’s timing as He continues to provide. I am praying and trusting that I’ll be leaving earlier rather than later.

Corrie ten Boom once said, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” As I continue to live in limbo, Jesus continues to ask me, “Do you trust me? Do you trust that I will sustain you? Do you trust that my timing is perfect?” And I do.

I trust Jesus because I know He is trustworthy, He is faithful, and He will sustain me. So whether you are waiting to hear back from a doctor about an unknown health issue, figuring out post-college plans, waiting to hear back about a job opportunity, or waiting desperately for God to provide a child, will you trust Him?